A new comic released by DC Comics explains why Batman will always be “basic”, without major superpowers or “optimizations”
(updated on 4/18/2023 at 4:33 am)
Batman is one of the greatest superheroes in comic book history and is part of the “Triad” of DC Comics, alongside Superman and Wonder Woman. But unlike his Justice League counterparts, he doesn’t have superpowers — although his intelligence is used by many writers as something superhuman. Anyway, Bruce Wayne had opportunities to gain special abilities, but he rarely took advantage of them. And the reason has finally been explained by a new comic.
DC has always been known for having characters that are like “gods wanting to be human”: Superman has already destroyed dimensions with just one punch, Flash can go back in time and cross parallel Earths, Wonder Woman is a demigod, Green Lantern uses the most powerful weapon in the universe and Batman… well, as we know, he is an extremely athletic human being trained to the limits of physical and mental overcoming — which offers a great contrast to his Justice League colleagues.
What draws attention in his trajectory is that Batman had the opportunity to use the Green Lantern ring and was already a Yellow Lantern; he was able to inject something like Captain America’s Super Soldier Serum but didn’t take the chance; and could even alter his body with cybernetic enhancements. Not even his trinkets, vehicles and suits gain very powerful optimizations for very long: in the end, the Batman always returns to being the “ordinary” human vigilante, only in uniform with a cape.
But why has Batman always “rejected” having superpowers?
New comic explains why Batman rejects having superpowers
In DC/RWBY #2, by Marguerite Bennett and Meghan Hetrick, recently published, the Bat-Family joins the RWBY group, which is part of an anime webseries, set in the world of Remnant. In RWBY, anyone with a soul can gain access to unique powers, and upon arriving in the DC Universe, many of the decenaut heroes are given special abilities.
Batman receives the power of precognition, but, throughout the plot, he says he needs to ignore this new special ability, because, according to Wayner, “if we become dependent on these powers, the withdrawal will be … acute” — that is, if he depended too much some superpower, it would be difficult to get used to having the same result as a good fighter if one day he lost his superhuman ability.
It is worth mentioning that this is not the first time that Batman rejects superpowers. In various stories since the 1940s, Batman has temporarily used some technology or superpowers. But in the end, it always goes back to “basics”. This is because high-tech powers and suits/weapons are unreliable compared to his natural state, and the time he spends relying on it makes him weaker.
In that logic, superpowers are a weakness for Batman, a warrior who doesn’t need optimization or external enhancements, as he constantly consistently does so. If he allows himself to become dependent on technology or powers, he is not strengthening his natural skill set – and that, in the long run, would make him weaker. That’s why Batman keeps going back to the classic cape and cowl.
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